During my early years of college, the gym consumed my life. My friends and I would go practically every day (or every other day). I didn't enjoy going out freshman year, as "house parties" weren't really my thing. Working out so much was super enjoyable because it made me feel good about myself.
Now, don't get me wrong. Working out feels like actual death. But once you completed whatever it is you were doing, the feeling was unexplainable. It was like a high you couldn't fathom to lose. It feels amazing knowing you did something so beneficial for your body, your mind, and yourself.
But then, life hits you. Consistently going to the gym is hard. We aren't some celebrities who can hit the gym for 6-8 hours a day and have absolutely nothing else to do with no other priorities. I stopped going to the gym as life began to hit me. I was going to a new school with a new major, taking new classes, and starting a new job.
It's time to get back into the swing of things.
I reached out to a friend, who turned his life around by getting back in the gym. Dennis Javier is a twenty-two-year-old personal trainer and group instructor at XSport Fitness.
Q: What initially got you into working out?
A: When I was growing up I was always overweight. In high school, I was bullied by the typical bullies who thought they were funny by body-shaming someone. I never took it to heart and didn't pay attention to what they said. Instead, I stayed after school when they had an open gym in the weight room. From there, the addiction started. From the help of the coaches that stayed after school, I went every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The first month I started feeling like a whole new person and the rest was history.
Q: What motivates you, and how do you maintain that motivation?
A: I can't pinpoint what motivates me but whenever I sit back and think about how far I've come in and out of the gym I always find something to cling onto, for the time being, I attack that goal then head on to the next one. I would say to just have endless things to accomplish because if you don't set goals for yourself, then what's the purpose of life?
Q: What advice would you give someone who's hesitant about going to the gym?
A: The gym is not as bad as people think it is. Everyone thinks that the gym is this jungle with a bunch of meatheads banging and clanging at one another. It's the exact opposite! The first day at any gym is hectic but the following days get easier as you become more comfortable with the environment. The more frequent you go, the more you learn new things, the more people you meet, and just being part of a bigger community always feels great.
Q: Why do you think working out is so important?
A: There's an endless list of why working out is important. There are no games, no gimmicks, it's scientifically been proven! Exercise is shown to improve stress levels and reduce risks for many diseases such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. Not only does exercise reduce stress, it provokes the body to release dopamine know as the "happy" hormone. It can improve musculature and bone strength as well. Wolff's law explains the reason bone strengthens with resistance training. As stress is put on the bone (i.e. muscle growth), the bone responds by strengthening the structure, so when future stress is put on the bone it can withstand the load. So if you're looking to get away from stress or need that "escape", just get started!
Personally, I have this euphoric feeling that runs through my veins when I leave the gym. Possibly my body thanking me for leaving, or possibly my body thanking me for what I was doing for it. Now obviously, you don't see immediate changes after going to the gym one time. But I'll tell you what, you feel them. You feel the changes; you can actually feel your body giving off such an amazing feeling.